Several weeks ago, I commented on Chris Brogan’s post, The Problem With Social Only Nonprofit Campaigns. Cleaning out my inbox today I saw that he’d responded to my post — like four weeks ago — with a fairly pointed question.
Even though the post is stale I went in and commented anyway. I’m sharing part of that response here because I think it gives a fairly good explanation of my philosophy when it comes to how non-profits should use social media:
When I look at our twitter stream I want to see engagement, conversation and information sharing — links, lots of links — and mostly not to our own content. We want to prove ourselves as a resource for the environmental community and if people like us, they’ll come to our site and join us.
Facebook is a different animal altogether. There we’re having discussions with members, supporters, and even some detractors/skeptics. We’re posting content that exemplifies what the Conservancy does, sparking conversations and answering questions and concerns and engaging in debate.
With both of these channels, fundraising is not a primary goal (although we have a facebook causes section for people who do want to engage in that way). The goal is to engage, listen and share. To help people build an affinity with the Conservancy that we can then, hopefully, cultivate into a donor relationship.
The irony of course, is that as I’m posting this, we are asking people to vote for us in the American Express Member Project! So, as you can see, we don’t ignore these things altogether. As I said, it’s a balance.